Mahrez costs City club-record £60m

LONDON • Riyad Mahrez finally secured his move to Manchester City on Tuesday and he is thrilled to join a club that are "redefining the English game".

The Premier League champions reportedly paid a club-record £60 million (S$108 million) for the winger. It comes seven months after City refused to pay Leicester's asking price of £80 million, having offered £50 million plus winger Patrick Roberts, who was valued at £15 million.

This time, Leicester said they had sold him for a club-record fee. The 27-year-old - a pivotal figure when the Foxes stormed to a shock English Premier League title in 2016 - signed a five-year contract.

"I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola," the 2016 PFA Player of the Year told the City website. "Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is perfect for me, and City's performances last season were outstanding."

Mahrez, so upset at not getting his move to City at the beginning of the year that he sat out two matches, said his new club were revolutionising the game in England.

"They're redefining the English game and I want to be a part of it," he said of the side that scored a record 106 goals last season.

"I believe my own game can develop under Pep's management."

City's director of football Txiki Begiristain said the Algeria international's attacking qualities would add even more of a cutting edge to a side which already boast talents such as Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero.

"Riyad is a hugely talented player. He beats defenders and creates space," said Begiristain. "Over the past few years, he has established himself as one of the Premier League's most exciting players."

Mahrez scored 48 goals in 179 appearances for Leicester, who signed him from French side Le Havre for just £450,000 in 2014.

"In the four-and-a-half years since Riyad signed for the Foxes, he has played his way into the hearts of all Leicester City supporters," read a club statement.

"His moments of magic will live long in the memory as the club and its fans continue to build a long-term legacy for the success delivered by the teams to which Riyad so memorably contributed."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2018, with the headline 'Mahrez costs City club-record £60m'. Print Edition | Subscribe